German and French Factory Industries Lodged In Contraction

The eurozone’s manufacturing sector remains stuck in a rut as its two largest economies missed expectations and continued to contract in April, according to a closely watched survey of industry executives, the Financial Times reported. The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for manufacturing in Germany rose slightly to 44.5 from 44.1 previously, but this was below expectations in a Reuters poll of an increase to 45. The index for the French manufacturing sector fell to 49.6 from 49.7, despite anticipation of a rise to 50. For the bloc overall, the index posted narrow gains, rising to 47.8 from 47.5, just off expectations of 47.9. The survey results leave both countries’ manufacturing sectors, and that of the bloc as a whole, below the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction. “Manufacturing remained the key area of concern, with output continuing to contract at one of the fastest rates seen over the past six years,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit. Read more